Finchem and Leach are part of campaign consultant Constantin Querard’s (Grassroots Partners) stable of religious right candidates. Querard also established the conservative Arizona Family Project, a conservative anti-choice organization. Querard only represents candidates who are acceptable to the Center for Arizona Policy, where he served as its Executive Director and CAP-PAC, as well as Director of Development for Arizona Right to Life.
The Arizona Daily Star candidate summary reveals:
Mark Finchem said the Bible is the source of law[.]
“I come from a Biblical world view. I don’t come from a secular world view,” he said. If someone comes from a different religious background? “It can launch a discussion,” Finchem said.
“I think a lot of people, whether they’re believers or not, subscribe to the idea that I am my brother’s keeper, and that doesn’t mean they’re kept by the government,” he said.
On Twitter in January and March, Leach posted: “Abortion doesn’t make you un-pregnant. It makes you the mother of a dead baby.” The messages came with a picture of a fetus and links to news about abortion.
He said his strong pro-life stance is guided by his faith.
“I believe that it is wrong to kill something that has already been created, and I think that it’s abhorrent, that the utensils used to pull those newly created babies out piece by piece is terrible, disgusting, and further to take those parts and sell them on the market is disgusting,” Leach said.
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Corin Hammond said she would keep her religion out of politics.
Hammond said, “Many Arizonans can appreciate that some issues aren’t completely right or wrong but somewhere in the middle, and many Arizonans can agree in life-threatening situations women should have the right to life, liberty and happiness without being poked, prodded and investigated by their legislators.”
She said people should have access to current and accurate reproductive health education, which helps build strong and healthy families. They should further have access to STD prevention, parent education programs, and access to quality reproductive medical support, she said.
Both Leach and Finchem are outspoken opponents of Proposition 205, which would allow any adult to use marijuana for any reason, including recreational, as well as grow their own plants.
Hammond said she’s “tired of Big Brother-style government,” believes in voter-enacted laws and will respect voters’ decision in November.
Leach said he understands voters’ rights but wants them to know it’s hard to change once it passes and hard to have oversight at the legislative level.
Finchem said it doesn’t make sense for the government to have spent “billions” on getting people to stop smoking cigarettes, only to tell them it’s OK to smoke marijuana. “That’s insanity,” he said.
“We have ample intoxicants in our society,” he said.
Finchem also is worried about the candies and other products containing marijuana that could be used by children, and about an increase in driving-while-intoxicated incidents that could result from more recreational use of marijuana.
Finchem and Leach are sunny on the Arizona budget and economy.
Arizona at one time had a $3 billion deficit and now the state has some carryforward money, showing “Arizona is pointed in the right direction,” Leach said. Forecasted job growth is promising and new employers are coming to the Tucson area, he said.
Finchem said it’s key that business leaders know the Arizona tax structure is predictable and steady.
Hammond said Arizona relies too heavily on sales tax revenue, putting pressure on lower-income earners and the middle class.
The state should re-balance state revenue between income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, she said.
She would like to increase teacher salaries and find ways to lower in-state university tuition.
Hammond is running as a single-shot candidate, asking voters to vote only for her, keeping votes away from the other two candidates.
At a recent candiate forum at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, Some jabs thrown at Pinal candidate forum:
When prompted about whether there was an advantage in the Trump vs. Clinton presidential race in a district with more registered Republicans, Democrat Corin Hammond argued there is a high volume of non-voters and independents to appeal to.
Tensions arose as Corin Hammond and Vince Leach discussed KidsCare and education. Leach’s GOP partner in the House, Rep. Mark Finchem, was absent.
Hammond called for expanding KidsCare to additional children. Leach, initially in support, argued on the floor against it for lack of transparency because it was “illegally added” to an education savings bill.
Hammond urged investing more money in education citing recent closures for repairs in Glendale and an Arizona Republic investigation that showed about 30 percent of school buses unsafe.
“How much is enough?” Leach speculated. “Utah spends less (but has) higher performance… Clearly, money is not the answer.”
Give Finchem and Leach a chance to replace public education funding with vouchers for private and parochial schools, they would be first in line to vote for it. Forget the prohibitions in the Arizona Constitution.
Finchem and Leach consistently votes with the religious right of the CAP on issues of access to contraception, funding of Planned Parenthood, and new legislative impediments to safe, legal abortions. Center for Arizona Policy scorecard on legislative priorities.
You can learn more about Corin Hammond at hammond4house.com. Hammond is 31 years old, with a chemistry degree from Louisiana State University with Upper Division Honors. She has a master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Arizona on fellowship, and she is finishing a Ph.D. in soil and water science at the University of Arizona. She has received a number of awards.
If you believe in education and science over religious dogma, this is the candidate for you.
The Citizens Clean Elections Debate is Tuesday, October 4, at 6:00 p.m., at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ.